The highly anticipated Arabian Gulf Cup final takes place this weekend.
Shabab Al Ahli take on Al Nasr at Zabeel Stadium, Dubai with the much sought after piece of silverware on the line.
Here is how the two sides got to the final.
It has not been an easy ride for Al Nasr who managed to get through a group stage blip before recovering to mark on to Friday’s final.
Things started brightly with a win and a draw against Ittihad Kalba and Khorfakkan respectively, before they were to hit a sticky patch.
Defeats against fellow finalists Shabab Al Ahli and Al Ain put the skids on things, but four points from their final two group games against Al Jazira and Al Dhafra ensured a third place finish in Group A.
The quarter finals saw them defeat Fujairah by a single Habib Al Fardan goal, setting up another clash with Al Ain.
A Toze equaliser late on the in the semi final ensured the game would go to penalty kicks, with Ahmed Shambieh the hero as Al Nasr won 4-1 from the spot.
Shabab Al Ahli
Shabab Al Ahli’s journey to the Arabian Gulf Cup final started with a 2-2 draw against Al Ain at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, before storming to a 4-0 victory at Al Jazira in matchday two.
The third game of the group stage saw youngster Mohammed Juma star in a 2-0 win over would-be final opponents Al Nasr to extend Shabab Al Ahli’s unbeaten run to three game.
That run would come to an end in a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Al Dhafra in the next game, but Rodolfo Arruabarrena’s side quickly bounced back, beating Ittihad Kalba 1-0 and ending the group stage with a goalless draw against Khorfakkan to progress to the next round as runners-up of Group A with 11 points; only goal-difference putting them behind leaders Al Ain.
At the quarter-final, a derby demolition of neighbours Al Wasl 5-1 at Rashid Stadium set up a replay of their game against Al Jazira. A thrilling encounter in Abu Dhabi went all the way to penalty shootouts after a 2-2 draw. Goalkeeper Majed Nasser impressed, denying Omar Abdulrahman from the spot as the reigning Arabian Gulf Cup champions emerged 4-2 winners to reach the final for the second year running.
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